Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hacking Consoles

So I was playing some Final Fantasy VIII today when I realized that my circle button felt a little jammed. I took apart my controller and cleaned it's insides. After screwing around with the damn triggers and putting it all back together, I realized that I haven't told you guys about a project I'm working on.

A while back I ended up getting a Nintendo Entertainment System from someone I know. I already had one so I wasn't sure what to do with it. I remembered a website I used to check a while back, Benheck.com where the author, Benjamin Heckendorn turns consoles into portables. I thought to myself, "It can't be too hard to do that...can it?" I was already in my work-term in college so I had free time after work and I had a lot of electronics experience in Computer Engineering program. It looked like the perfect time to go ahead and do it.

I started by taking apart the console. As I started pulling pieces apart I realized how small the electronics board really was for the console. A lot of stuff was just plastic pieces. After reading up on this, I found out that the NES was made around the time game consoles were doing horrible in the market. In order to bring up sales in North America, they altered the console so that it looked like a VCR.

The fully hacked board.

Anyway, I finally got down to the board and started to take off unnecessary parts. The annoying serial port was removed as well as the giant RF amplifier used to hook up the console to a TV. All the smaller pieces were also pressed down in order to make the board as flat as possible.

Look what the mail man brought!

Eventually after searching on Ebay for weeks, I found an affordable screen for the console. It was one of those Sony PS1 portable screens. I took the screen apart and removed the speakers and screen. I was left with a lightbox and a thin LCD.

The screen and lightbox resting inside a paper towel. Gotta keep it clean!

That's where I am today. It's still a work in progress but it's moving along nicely. The only problem I'm having is getting some small electronic parts necessary to complete the project. Hopefully the next time I post you guys will be able to see the console power on. I've also named the project the NESp.

A sneak peak of what the handheld will eventually look like.

Anyway, that's all I have for now! Talk to you all soon.

- Res

1 comment: